A plan for the grounds should first be made. This should be done before the house is planned so that the house plan and that for the grounds may fit both one another and the location. If the house is built then one must make the best of the situation.
Roads and walks should be as few as possible and should be so located as to be most serviceable and to leave the lawn areas as nearly unbroken as practicable. A straight walk direct from the street is probably best when the house is closer to the street than the width of its own front. As the distance from the street increases the desirability of so locating the walk that there is an unbroken lawn between the house and the street also increases. This often can be done by curving the walk from one corner of the lot to one end of the porch or to the entrance door. Both roads and walks should be so located and be made of such material that they will be as inconspicuous as possible.
Service features like a delivery and work yard and a clothes drying yard should be provided where they can be secluded from the general view, likewise the vegetable and flower gardens should be so located that they can be at least partially hidden from the street.
Play areas should be included in the back yard if there are children in the home. The amount of play space allotted to the play area will obviously depend upon the size of the grounds. This area need not be large but should be planned for shade and attractiveness.
Lawns should occupy as large areas unbroken by other features as the limits of the place will permit. As much as practicable of the area between the house and the street should be in turf to form the foreground of the picture that the house should present. These areas should be carefully graded at the start. If there are any places where there is less than the average amount of top soil a poor spot in the turf will result. Rock ledges near the surface will give the same results. Incorporate an abundance of manure or other organic matter in the soil before establishing the lawn by seeds or plants, as later feeding must be confined to the surface unless an entirely new start is made. Use the grass best adapted to the locality.
1 The principles of design discussed in this chapter apply to small properties and to grounds of moderate size. Space does not permit information on plants and planting and such information has been included only in connection with the subject of lawns and trees.
2 From Beautifying the Home Grounds (Leaflet 4). Better Homes in America, 1931.
Fig. 63. - The lawn should remain unbroken by planting features. Shrubs and plants are placed preferably against foundations, at corners or in angles of steps and porches.